Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what's happening in the world of legalized marijuana. This week, we see that cannabis may be coming to North Carolina, despite the actions of lawmakers. We note that marijuana provisions did not make it into the National Defense Authorization Act. We see that Ukraine may legalize cannabis. And finally, some folks in Boston staged a new kind of tea party.

NORTH CAROLINA

The last time we visited the Tarheel State, we noted that the Senate passed a medical cannabis bill, and the House held a hearing. Well, that was all that happened. Citing a lack of support among Republican members, the Speaker of the House said the measure was unlikely to pass in this legislative session. That's not a big surprise; often the introduction of any sort of legal cannabis is the hardest part of the full legalization process. And since Virginia is not setting up a retail market, the state faces no loss of tax revenue as people cross borders to purchase cannabis.

But, marijuana could be coming to North Carolina, without the legislature's approval. The Eastern Bank of Cherokee will vote in September on whether to legalize adult-use cannabis possession and sales on tribal lands. The tribe legalized medical marijuana in 2021, and construction of a dispensary is underway, albeit slowly. Initial use of the dispensary, whether for medical or adult-use, will be limited to tribal members, but would expand to the larger community.

NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT

In what should come as a surprise to no one reading this blog, cannabis provisions were stripped out of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week. Although the provisions were largely bipartisan, Democrats tend to support cannabis legalization more than Republicans do, and Republicans are in the House majority. One of the GOP's members saw the divide between those in favor and those opposed to legalization in a different way.

A consequence of living in the gerontocracy of Congress is a boomerfied view of drug policy

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)

To be fair, I believe marijuana was pretty popular among the Boomers at one time...

UKRAINE

It may be difficult to get cannabis legislation passed in North Carolina or Capitol Hill, but it's a much smoother road in Ukraine. The country's Parliament passed a medical cannabis proposal on its first reading, and a second reading is anticipated soon. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has indicated support for the measure.

AND FINALLY

Taxes have been unpopular in the United States since before there was a United States. Boston was a hotbed of resistance to tax measures imposed by the British government in the 1770s, as we doubtless all recall from our American history classes. The tradition of dressing up in costumes and throwing things into Boston Harbor to protest revenue measures seen as unfair continues to this day. Executives and other employees of MariMed boarded a schooner, headed into the harbor, and tossed boxes labeled WEED overboard, while wearing late 18th century garb. Why exactly? To protest IRC Section 280E, which prohibits cannabis companies from deducting their business expenses from their federal tax returns.

Be well everyone – we'll see you next week!

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